Glendale Union High School District

Lockwood named a Flinn Scholar
Sunnyslope High School senior Bailey Lockwood was named a Flinn Scholar and is one of only 20 students in the state of Arizona to receive the scholarship this year.

The merit-based scholarship program covers the cost of tuition, fees, room and board and at least two travel abroad experiences. The overall financial package is valued at more than $115,000.

Flinn Scholars, who can attend Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, or University of Arizona, also benefit from working with top faculty and researchers, meeting business and civic leaders in their field, and forming their own community and alumni network. Lockwood has chosen to attend The University of Arizona to major in anthropology, with aspirations to go on to medical school.

Madison Elementary School District

Teams advance in Odyssey of Mind
Students at Madison Simis Elementary and Madison Meadows Middle School recently competed in the Odyssey of the Mind State Competition, landing several teams a spot in the upcoming World Competition.

The fourth grade team from Madison Simis, led by Carson Bilger, came in first place in “Aesop Gone Viral.” The third grade team from Madison Simis, led by Julie Morrison, came in second place in “No-Cycle Recycle.” And the Madison Meadows sixth and seventh grade team, led by Elizabeth Cohen, came in second place in the “Aesop Gone Viral.” The World Competition is in Ames, Iowa in May.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students, where students are asked to apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.
Madison Simis Elementary and Madison Meadows Middle School, both International Baccalaureate schools, offer Odyssey of the Mind as an extra-curricular program.

Phoenix Union
High School District

DLA Scholarships
handed out
Seventeen students received $20,000 worth of scholarships ranging from $500 to $3,000 at the Diversity Leadership Alliance Youth Scholarship Awards, held March 23 at North High School.
The organization has been working with Phoenix Union students for eight years, forming the Diversity leadership Academy, with the goal of cultivating and developing future leaders from diverse backgrounds. Selected students are diversity-conscious and have a desire to take on a leadership role in their schools and community.
Alejandra Otero of Camelback won a $3,000 DLA Scholarship, Salvador Sebastian-Neri of Central and Luz Arreola of North received $2,000 scholarships. In addition, Jacqueline Vaca-Delgado of Metro Tech and Anna Deogratias from North won $1,000 scholarships.

The DLA Leadership Academy is designed to assist students with transitioning from school to work, as well as provide them with tools and resources to help build leadership skills. Two-hundred students participated in DLA workshops and events this school year, meeting once a month. DLA’s member corporations have provided $300,000 in scholarships.

Kiwanis Club hands out scholarships
The Key Club of North High School had three students win scholarships awarded by the Kiwanis Club of Phoenix, dedicated to serving the children of the world through action in local communities.

Anna Deogratias, Viridiana Herrera, and Karla Romero shared $2,000 in scholarships for their academic and service achievements. Deogratias will attend ASU Barrett Honors as a nursing major. Herrera will major in biomedical engineering at Grand Canyon University. Romero will study architecture at Arizona State University.

Key Club is an international student-led organization that provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character, and develop leadership.

Central receives money for new Chromebooks
Central High School was one of nine schools from around the country participating in a national fundraising contest with GoFundMe to fund the purchase of Google Chromebooks for the school.

For the challenge, the school that received the most Facebook shares during the two weeks would win 100 Chromebooks. GoFundMe also matched the first $5,000 raised on each school’s campaign.

Central High competed against schools in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Austin and Indianapolis. While Central didn’t win the GoFundMe ChromebookChallenge, it did have the third-most Facebook shares. However, GoFundMe decided to give all the participating schools a $5,000 donation in Chromebooks, anyway.

The Chromebook Challenge, which ran from March 8-22, was part of GoFundMe’s increased efforts to help education and become the go-to site for teachers, parents, students and school administrators to raise money for education initiatives.

Students fare well t state conference
Twenty students from Phoenix Union High School District attended the 2016 Educators Rising State Conference and Competition at Loews-Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, March 23-25. It was formerly known as FEA (Future Educators Association).

Students who take Early Childhood Education or Education Professions can become members of Educators Rising. About half of the students who attended placed in the top five in their competition and won awards for their outstanding skills and efforts. Seven students also qualified to attend Nationals this summer in Boston, Mass.

Student winners included Cortney Davis of North High, who took Second Place in Interview, and Metro Tech’s Ana Reyes, who won a $250 Educators Rising Scholarship.

North teams placed first in Service Project; second in Exploring Careers in Support Services; and fourth in Researching Emotional Disabilities.

Best Buddies Club honored
North High School’s Best Buddies Club received two awards at the Best Buddies Annual Meeting, held April 2 in Tempe. The first award was the 2015-2016 Most Mission-Focused Chapter. This was particularly in recognition of an impactful Spread the Word to End the “R” Word assembly at North in March. The event also was about replacing “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability.”

North’s Best Buddies club held the assembly in conjunction with the school’s spring sports assembly on March 3. The sports theme included representatives from Special Olympics, including Amy Remfrey, the coach of the gold medal winning Arizona softball team that won the Special Olympics Summer Games gold medal, and a Phoenix Union employee.
Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Special Olympics, Best Buddies and the greater disability community prefers to focus on people and their gifts and accomplishments, and to dispel negative attitudes and stereotypes.

Ariana Fierro was recognized as the 2015-16 Most Outstanding Chapter President with an award for “being such an active leader” at North High School. The approximately 20 Best Buddies pairs were thrilled at the recognition.

Washington Elementary School District

Orangewood joins new STEM group
Orangewood School has been selected to be part of the first AZ STEM School Community of Practice, which brings together 57 schools from across the state to innovate the next generation of STEM education in schools.

Orangewood and the other 56 schools are forward-thinking, creative schools dedicated to sharing best practices and finding solutions to educate Arizona’s youths in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). School teams across Arizona—each with representation from community and industry, school leadership, educators, teachers and students—will help each other, share information, build relationships and learn from one another.

Arizona SciTech, the state’s leading innovator and proponent of STEM education, announced the launch of this joint initiative between hi-tech businesses, community members, educators, students, and parents to create the first ever AZ STEM School Community of Practice. A Community of Practice is based upon the latest business strategy, where various stakeholders come together; they understand that knowledge is an asset that can be shared for the greater good.

These cross-stakeholder teams help each other, share information, build relationships and learn from one another. Teams then leverage their collective existing knowledge to design innovative solutions to the problems and challenges they have identified.

Students learn about healthcare careers
Abrazo Central Campus employees recently offered healthcare career presentations to more than 120 Orangewood Elementary School eighth graders.

The hospital employees on April 13 provided insight into different aspects of the healthcare industry including surgery, inpatient acute rehabilitation, dietary services, emergency department, nursing and business development.
“The Abrazo Central Campus presentations were part of the Take Action Initiative, which was created to motivate eighth grade students to think about future career opportunities and consider the necessary steps to get there,’’ said Dan Jones, Abrazo Central Campus chief executive officer.

The career presentation is one of many ways that Abrazo Central Campus has been supporting Orangewood Elementary School, 7337 N. 19th Ave. Earlier this year, Abrazo Central Campus provided fruit for all Orangewood Elementary School students to promote healthy eating. The hospital also helped fund three classroom projects.

Private and Charter Schools

Torres receives full ride scholarship
North Central resident Luis Torres, a senior at Brophy College Preparatory, has been awarded The Sullivan Leadership Award from Seattle University, a Jesuit university in Seattle, Wash.

More than 300 seniors from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming competed for this scholarship, which is awarded to students who “… transcend classroom performance in academic excellence along with diverse leadership styles and personal backgrounds.”

The award includes a full scholarship covering tuition, room and board for each of four years of undergraduate study at Seattle University. Luis is one of nine students who have been awarded The Sullivan Leadership Award for the incoming freshmen year.

Xavier women excel in computing
Fifteen Xavier College Preparatory students were honored by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) last month as winners of this year’s “Aspirations in Computing” awards.

Xavier seniors Rita Barakat, Fiona Lobo, Claudia Lucca, Lisbet Maldonado, Hannah Paynter, Kirielle Singarajah, Sara Skornik, and Emma Yarbrough; juniors Nsomma Alilonu, Molly Luther, Kassidy McIntyre, Adanna Padda, and Erin Sweeney; and sophomores Carolina Cisneros and Josie Tang were each presented with an award and a $4,000 scholarship to the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

Skornik and Yarbrough both won “Aspirations in Computing” awards last year as well.

All four teams make it to state
For the first time in Xavier College Preparatory’s history, all four squads of the Elias M. Romley Xavier Mock Trial Team competed in the Arizona State Mock Trial Championship.
The “Xavier North” squad—comprised of Xavier seniors Chelsea Divins (captain), Katherine Milano, and Ane Pulu; juniors Alex Murray and Hannah Tribolet; sophomore Natalie Kerwin; and freshwoman Fiona Pan—placed second in the state and received the state runner-up trophy.

Xavier senior Katherine Milano won the individual state championship, a $600 scholarship, and the Justice Ryan Award of Special Merit for the most outstanding individual performance in this year’s championship tournament. Milano and senior Alex Kusen, a North Central resident, were both named to the All-State Team as well.

New covered patio at Midtown Primary
Helped by a grant from Lowe’s, Midtown Primary School has expanded its educational spaces by adding a covered patio. Surrounded by shade and trees, the students have a charming area in which to do study anything. It gives the teachers more freedom and room. Science and art classes have room to spread out.

Lowe’s also gave the school a tree to plant on Arbor Day. The students were busy in early April preparing artwork for the Arbor Day activities. A variety of student work was on display and/or performed during the morning celebration on April 29.

The school is located at 4735 N 19th Ave. For more information, call 602-265-5133.

Preschool holds Parents’ Night Out
Parents and friends of Faith Lutheran Preschool joined together on the patio of Ajo Al’s on April 9 for its inaugural Parents’ Night Out. The evening included a sit-down dinner and silent auction showcasing goods and services from several local organizations. The funds raised during the evening will be put toward the renovation of the Preschool’s playgrounds.

“We decided to give the parents a ‘night out’ so that they could engage with each other in a place other than the parking lot during drop off and pick up,” said Mary Thompson, co-chair of the event.

“The response from the parents was amazing and in addition to establishing and building relationships, we were able to exceed our fundraising goal,” added Ashley Siegel, the other co-chair.

Located at 801 E. Camelback Road, Faith Lutheran Preschool is now enrolling for the 2016-17 school year. Tours are available by appointment. Contact Shalini Halpe, preschool director, at 602-277-6175.

MHP student a state delegate
Asif Razack, a sophomore at Madison Highland Prep, has been nominated to represent Arizona as a Delegate of the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Lowell, Mass. this summer.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high-school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The purpose of the event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be scientists and technologists, to stay true to their dream.

Razack was nominated by the winner of the first Google Science Fair, Shree Bose—academic director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists—to represent Arizona based on academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology.

During the three-day Congress that runs from June 29 through July 1, Razack will join students from across the country to hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading scientific research and cutting-edge advances in science and technology.

For information, visit or call 617-307-7425.

Local youth wins essay scholarship
North Central youth Evan Pittman is no ordinary 17 year old. Not only is he an accomplished performance violinist, elite athlete and model student, but now can add patriotic American to that long list of accolades.

The Joe Foss Institute awarded Pittman the Donna W. Foss Scholarship in late 2015 for his essay submission titled “A Proud American, What it Means to Me.” The essay details Pittman’s deep familial commitment to military service and bi-racial lineage and how that has framed his own outlook on service to this country and his role as an engaged American citizen.

In his essay he states, “being a proud American starts with my own American story, which is tied to the sometimes painful history of this great country. Despite racial tensions, bigotry and oppression, members of my family have served America and fought in every major conflict across generations to ensure our freedom.”

Pittman’s own life story is as diverse as his family’s history and service. At age 6, he began playing violin and has since become a seasoned performer, playing in multiple states for a wide variety of audiences. In addition to playing other sports, at age 10, he began competitive powerlifting, has won seven world championships, is on track to become the only powerlifter to break 100 world records while still in high school and was named AAU Strength Sports national athlete of the year for 2015.

Beating out over 1,200 other essay submissions, as the winner Pittman received $5,000 to go toward his college tuition and will also be performing the National Anthem on violin at the Joe Foss Institute Stars in Service Gala in April. He is currently a junior at Phoenix Country Day School in an AP/Honors curriculum.
To learn more about JFI’s Scholarship Program, visit

Students receive service awards
St. Francis Xavier School last month announced the 2016 Christian Service Award Recipients. Each year the Catholic Community Foundation recognizes outstanding eighth-grade students from throughout the Diocese who display a love and understanding of their Catholic faith and articulate a commitment, not only to performing acts of service, but to living a service focused life.

Recipients of the prestigious Christian Service Award are honored by the bishop at a special ceremony and receive an $8,000 Catholic high school tuition scholarship.

This year St. Francis Xavier School had 12 finalists, including: Annie Donahue, Andrew Duque, Graham Earnest, Kaitlin Gaona, Grace Haak, Hannah Jerome, Karen Morales, Claire Nelson, Jay Roediger, Mia Scardello, Elizabeth Warren, and Bridget Wickers. All these students live out the school motto of being a kid for others.

In addition, Sofia Sweiss received the Staren Family Christian Service Award and Grae Fischer was given the Fr. Sullivan Ignatian Spirit Award. The Fr. Sullivan Ignatian Spirit Award was created through the generosity of the Schramm family (Hailey ’12, Patrick ’14) to further the mission of the CCF as well as honor Father Dan Sullivan, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church.

For more information, call 602-266-5364 or visit

PCDS team wins second state title
The Phoenix Country Day School Upper School Speech & Debate Team won its second state championship (Division II) in as many years March 18-19 at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson.

Thirty PCDS Upper School students started their spring break by competing in the event. After two days of competition in over 15 different events, the team was crowned back-to-back State Champions in Speech & Debate. Last year, PCDS won the championship by defeating former three-time state champions from Catalina Foothills by 11 points; this year, the team defeated Catalina Foothills once again, this time by 62 points.

Twenty-two schools competed in the tournament, some of which had student enrollment of up to 1,800 students (PCDS has 283 students in its high school).

PCDS seniors Jillian Gilburne and Oliver Marsden each won individual championships in Original Oratory and Humorous Interpretation categories, respectively. Individual championships were also won by juniors William Porter (Congressional Debate category) and Parker Whitfill (Extemporaneous Speaking category), sophomores Grace Elsie and Madison Stringer (Duo Interpretation category) and Olivia Najafi (Dramatic Interpretation category).

“When I started at PCDS as a part-time coach, those seniors were the pieces that we were looking to build an incredible team around,” Speech & Debate Coach Nick Klemp said. “They’ve worked and sacrificed so much to help this team grow and are truly the cornerstones of our success.”

Local teacher runs Boston Marathon
Bry Lauck, St. Francis Xavier School PE teacher, has been running for most of her life and on April 18, she achieved one of her biggest running goals: running the in the Boston Marathon.

Lauck qualified for the Boston Marathon in October 2014 by running in the Chicago Marathon and posting a time of 3:16. She finished the 2016 Boston Marathon in 3:07:43, beating her Chicago time by over 8 minutes.

Lauck has been training for the Boston Marathon for the past two years, regularly running 40 to 50 miles a week. One of her favorite training routes was going up the Murphy Bridle Path to the canal and up to 44th Street and back. To train for the hills in the Boston marathon, she ran up and down 32nd Street between Camelback and Lincoln.
Before she left for the marathon, St. Francis Xavier students presented her with a “paper plate” medal from each grade level and they all signed it to wish her good luck.


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